the Physics Education Technology Project
Check out this virtual circuit simulator for building dc circuits. Wires, batteries, resistors, light bulbs, and switches are available, along with common "real world" objects. You can modify parameters such as resistance and voltage as desired, and use meters are available for measuring voltages and currents. This site is part of a large collection of simulations freely available from the Physics Education Technology (PhET) group at the University of Colorado.
6-8: 8C/M4. Electrical energy can be generated from a variety of energy resources and can be transformed into almost any other form of energy. Electric circuits are used to distribute energy quickly and conveniently to distant locations.
11. Common Themes
9-12: 11A/H2. Understanding how things work and designing solutions to problems of almost any kind can be facilitated by systems analysis. In defining a system, it is important to specify its boundaries and subsystems, indicate its relation to other systems, and identify what its input and output are expected to be.
6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
PhET Simulation: Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only). (2005, March 22). Retrieved May 20, 2013, from Physics Education Technology Project: http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/circuit-construction-kit-dc
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This item is a one-day high school lab investigation of factors causing short circuits in both series and parallel circuits. Detailed lab instructions are accompanied by diagrams and prediction charts to gauge preconceived notions against the observed outcomes. The lab materials are readily accessible and inexpensive to obtain.